Alfred, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball team suffered a loss to the Alfred State Pioneers on Wednesday evening in their final game before resuming conference play by the final score of 78-70.
Tied early at 4-4, the Pioneers then went up by three until Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) tied the game back up at 9-9 with a made three. Over the next several minutes, the Spartans would be outscored 12-3 as Alfred State would take a 21-12 lead with 10:41 left in the half. Over four minutes later, the Pioneers went up by 14 over D'Youville with a 30-16 lead.
With 2:02 to go in the half, the Spartans were back in the game after bringing the score to 30-27 following a Heard three. Alfred State would regain a seven-point advantage until Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) hit a pair of free throws before the half ended to make the score 36-30 Alfred State at the half.
The Pioneers controlled the early goings of the second half until a Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) cut the deficit to five with a made three. However Alfred State would go back up by 11 less than a minute later and hold that lead for the next several minutes.
With just under nine minutes to go in the game, D'Youville trailed by the score of 69-48, their largest deficit of the game. In the final two minutes of play, the Spartans' got a boost from their bench to bring the game back to within single digits. Patrick Plummer (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) and Bryce Little (Arcade, NY/Pioneer) each hit threes to go with Mark Jorgensen (Spencerport, NY/Spencerport) and Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) baskets. However the lead was too much as Alfred State defeated D'Youville by the final of 78-70.
"We need to shoot better and play tougher on defense," said head coach Earl Schunk.
The Spartans had a balanced scoring attack on Wednesday evening. VanDuluitgaarden led the team with 14 points, followed by Heard and Blask with 10 points each. Blask had a team high eight rebounds and six assists. Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia Mumford) and Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) each brought in seven rebounds.
Nwaekeke had one of his best games as a Spartan, leading all bench scorers with eight points, adding five assists and five rebounds. Jorgensen had seven rebounds while Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) added five points.
D'Youville will next play on Saturday, January 7th as they host Franciscan at 3pm.